U18 Real Madrid ended the Euroleague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament Finals on a high note as the reigning champion knocked off U18 PFYM INSEP Paris 73-82 in Group A’s final game. Real wasted an 18-point lead but gave up just one point in the final 3:45 minutes to bounce back from its disappointing loss a day earlier against U18 Mega Mozzart Belgrade which cost a chance to defend its crown. Urban Klavzar paced the winners with 20 points, Eli Ndiaye had 13 points, 14 rebounds and 4 steals and Sediq Garuba chipped in 12 points. The two-time champion PFYM finished with a 1-2 record in the group. Noah Penda poured in 23 points and Rayan Rupert scored 20 points while the pair combined for 11 rebounds, 7 assists and 7 steals. Melvin Ajinca was the only other player in double figures with 14 points.
Real beats PFYM, finishes on high note
Real opened with the first nine points of the game and PFYM did not score in the first 4 minutes. Klavzar picked up five points in a 2-13 run as the lead grew to 4-22. PFYM answered with six straight points but still trailed 10-26 after 10 minutes.
The French side fought back into the game with the first eight points of the second quarter and Rupert’s three-pointer made it 23-30. A Garuba triple pushed the advantage to 26-38 before three-pointers from Theo Pichard and Penda trimmed the gap to 37-42. And it was 41-47 at intermission.
PFYM charged out of the locker room with a 10-3 run to take its first lead 51-50 and Ajinca’s triple had the French side ahead 54-52. Nicolas Cebrian answered with a three-pointer and Real surged to a 58-65 cushion. PFYM finished the quarter with the final four points and the score was 62-65 after 30 minutes.
Real started the fourth quarter with the first six points to push the gap to nine points. Penda countered with five points and Ajinca hit a three-pointer to pull within 72-77 with under 4 minutes to play. Real’s defense stepped up when it counted most, giving up just one free throw the rest of the way to finish the tournament with a win.